The Origins or Provenance of a Ventriloquist Figure

Provenance is the complete lineage of an item or “the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object. Who first purchased it and the hands that it has gone through to the present.

Most people out there have no clue what provenance is nor do they care. This is another fundamental piece of a true collector and it especially applies to ventriloquist figures.

As a collector of vent figures I want to know who has owned the figure so that I can give the information to anyone that may ask. I always list as much information as possible about a figure when I list it in the Ventriloquist Central Collection page. To me it is one of the most important things other than originality of the figure.

If you are a performer, then who cares who owned it. You wrap your hand around the head stick, go out on stage and the figure talks and makes people laugh and the world smiles. Makes absolutely no difference if you were the first owner of the figure or the third or seventh.

I once purchased a figure on a public sale that said it belonged to a famous person. After I purchased it I asked the seller for the provenance to prove the ownership. They said this was not something they do. I said then how can I, a collector, list him on Ventriloquist Central Collection as being previously owned by this famous person if I have no proof.

They understood and then sent me the info from where they purchased the figure. I was able to then confirm the originality as being true.

So when you decide to collect, and it makes no difference what the item is you collect, always try to get the provenance. It just adds to the items value.


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Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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One Response to The Origins or Provenance of a Ventriloquist Figure

  1. Tony Davis says:

    I have enjoyed hearing more from a collectors perspective. Yesterdays blog on humidity was interesting. Storage of figures, has been something that has concerned me at times. Lots of moisture in the Northwest area where I live. Todays blog on the history of ownership is again, very interesting.
    Thank you Dan

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